The “SEO Game” continues to change from year-to-year because Google purposely changes the rules and there is NO published rule book; however, just like in football, the basics are the basics and if done with purpose and excellence you will win the game every time. Do you need the other hundred SEO strategies that make up the Google Algorithm; not really. Some strategies will come naturally by doing the basics, others are just busy work taking money and time away from the basics. To borrow a quote from just about every team sport played, “keep your eye on the ball”. Same goes with SEO, stay focused on what really matters.
There are three basics to master in SEO; build a website that has strong SEO signals, make sure to continually add good content that both Google and visitors find valuable, and have plenty of referring links from other strong websites. That’s it… easy to say, easy to understand, harder to do well. Here are some of the details that may help you understand the plan a little better.
Build a Strong Website
The place to begin is with your website. Build a strong website with a strong core. Select the best keywords and optimize your website using tried and true SEO methods. Write your Title Tag, Meta Description and Page Content so they support your keywords in the proper ratios using white-hat strategies that are compelling to your readers. Write your Home page to support your brand and industry. Create Service or Product Category pages that sell effectively and support your primary keywords. Create Blogs or Product pages that go into greater detail providing answers to your visitor’s questions. Obviously include the customary About and Contact pages. There are many tools and SEO scanners on the internet to help you identify what needs to be worked on. If you would like one of the best FREE SEO Audits we’ve found, click here. If you are unsure of how to effectively organize your website, and optimize a landing page, you can learn more about our website design and development here.
Continually Add Quality Content
Next, plan on continually adding new and compelling content to your website. Your landing pages should contain between 1000 to 2000 words. So, if you are a little lite on verbiage, these pages would be a great place to start adding content. If you are a product-oriented business, adding new products is always a good method for adding content. One of the best methods is to blog regularly. A minimum of 1 new article per month, 2 is better and any more than that is excellent, but probably not necessary for most local businesses. Each article added to your site should be around 1000 words or more with cross-links to your internal landing pages and a few links headed off-site to respected sources adding more depth to the topic. If you are understaffed or simply hate writing, it is possible to hire a freelance writer. A good article relevant to your business, properly optimized and linked should cost about 75 to 150 dollars.
Build Quality Inbound Links
Of all the strategies, this is probably the most complicated and important; build lots of quality inbound links from other quality sites that Google respects. These links can be acquired organically by writing such compelling content that people find your site and link to you naturally… or… you can purposely build them with a little care, strategy and investment. The most important thing to remember is they need to appear natural and come from respected sites. This is where discount SEO providers cheat and buy links from random sites in foreign countries using bad English and in some cases from fake networks that look anything but natural. Don’t take short cuts, or buy cheap SEO; it will cost you much more than just money in the long run. There are three things you need to keep in mind when building quality backlinks: (1) How many links should you acquire for each page and how often. (2) What anchor text should be used so the proper keywords are highlighted yet still look natural (3) Which type of links should be applied to which pages.
Now for the answer to the biggest mystery; how do you encourage a 3rd party website to link to your website? Probably the best way is to write a guest blog that is related to the product or service you’re trying to promote and offer this to website owners that would be willing to post on their site. Finding these relationships, writing the article and using the correct anchor text is a very complex and time-consuming process as you can imagine. Most site owners don’t have the time or interest to figure this out, and that is when an SEO firm is hired for their help and expertise. If you’d like help with this process, learn more about our managed seo service here.
SEO basics are just that; basic. And they often sound obvious like holding onto the football, but understanding and actually applying the basics is the difference between 1st-page ranking and wallowing back on page three. This article is hardly a do-it-yourself instruction on the basics, but hopefully, it gives you a little better understanding of what needs to happen and if you do employ an SEO “expert” they will be focused on what is truly important.
As always, if you have questions about your website, it’s content, or developing links, feel free to contact us.